As most avid fans know, the 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame voting results came in yesterday, blissfully giving us something to talk about other than Yu Darvish as the clock ticks down toward the beginning of the action in 2018.
Your popularity contest winners for this year are:
Chipper Jones (3B – Atlanta)
Vladimir Guerrero (RF – Montreal, Los Angeles, others)
Jim Thome (1B & DH – Cleveland, Philadelphia, Chicago White Sox, others)
Trevor Hoffman (RP – San Diego, others)
Steroid Era poster children Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Manny Ramirez and Sammy Sosa were, not surprisingly, snubbed again, finishing 7th, 8th, 13th and 18th, respectively.
I personally don’t get all the hand-wringing about the Steroid Era. Drug use has been part of baseball for decades. Even back in the 60’s, players were popping “greenies” (amphetamines) like candy, notably discussed by Jim Bouton in his classic Ball Four. As medical science improved, they simply moved on to other ways to enhance performance.
Professional athletes will always be looking for ways to get an edge in a competitive environment. I can’t blame players for using PEDs if they see it as the one thing that can put them over the top when trying to sign a big contract or get a spot in the lineup as an everyday player. If they want to sacrifice their long-term health and wellbeing for short-term gain, who am I to judge? There ought to be full disclosure about doping so players know where they stand compared to others and fans can decide whether they want to keep watching knowing the truth.
As far as Sosa is concerned, it’s BS that he is getting snubbed over alleged PED use when he and fellow doper Mark McGwire are credited with “saving” baseball by reviving public interest during the 1998 home run chase. The Cubs organization also has refused to honor him at Wrigley Field unless he goes on a false apology tour like a good boy. Never mind how much money he minted for the team and the fact he led the team back to the playoffs after years without an appearance. Fuck them – you keep doing you, Sammy (please stop the skin bleaching)!Embed from Getty Images
I grew up a Cubs fan in Northwest Illinois and became an avid follower of the team during the Sosa-McGwire home run chase. Now I am the #1 Cubs fan in Toronto, Canada. You can find me on Twitter @Troll_Hamels (personal) and @farnorthsider (blog).